Error from the Year 2000
Fry opened his eyes. He realized he was lying on a table in an unfamiliar room. It was cold, and he could hear the hum of machinery. He looked to his right and saw a row of cryonic tubes. He realized that somehow he was back at the lab where he got frozen, where he'd met Leela.
"You okay, Philip?" asked a familiar voice.
Fry looked to his left and to his amazement saw his parents and his brother Yancy. His mother and Yancy looked concerned, his father just annoyed. They all seemed completely alive, though he'd thought they had all died centuries earlier. "Mom? Dad? Yancy?! Did you all freeze yourselves too? What are you doing here in the future?"
Fry's parents and Yancy all exchanged glances. Yancy leaned forward and gave Fry a quizzical look, then pulled back again. "The year 2000 isn't the future any more, Philip," he said.
"2000? No, guys, it's more like 3000. Don't you know how long it's been?"
Again his family gave each other worried, confused looks. Fry's father turned and glared at another man who Fry hadn't noticed before. "What the hell's wrong with him?" his father asked. "You try to brainwash him while he was frozen?"
"Mr. Fry," said the man, stepping closer, "We knew there would be some disorientation after revival, but we weren't sure how bad it would be, or what form it would take." He took out a small flashlight and began examining Fry.
"I haven't seen you here before," said Fry as the man shined the light in his eyes and ears. "Where's Terry and those other guys? And why are you doing that? I guess I don't mind, but--"
"Can you remember what happened?" asked Fry's mother.
"What happened when?" asked Fry.
"When you were frozen," said Yancy.
"Oh, sure," said Fry. "I fell into the tube and it shut--"
"So you do remember," said the other man.
"--and I stayed frozen a thousand years," finished Fry. Then he noticed everyone was staring at him again. "Wait... what's going on?" asked Fry, suddenly feeling scared.
"It'll be okay," said his mother.
"He should regain his true memory soon enough," the strange man said to his parents.
"Someone tell me what's going on!" said Fry.
"Philip," Yancy began slowly, "You were frozen for almost a month. It's the twenty-ninth of January, and it's the year 2000."
Fry stared out the window of his parents' car at what he'd come to think of as Old New York. What had happened? Where had the future gone? Everything seemed unreal; Fry felt like the world would shatter or tear apart if he just reached out and touched something. But he tried and it didn't happen. Somehow, he was in the past, at a point when he should still have been frozen. Had he traveled back in time?
"We think you should stay at home for a few days, Philip, so you can get yourself together" said his mother. "Then maybe you can go see if Mr. Panucci will give you your job back, and go back to your apartment."
"Actually, Michelle threw me out," said Fry. "She said she put my stuff on the curb."
"Uh, Philip, that was your apartment," said Yancy. "She moved in with you."
"Phil," said his father, "We need to figure out everything they did to you while you were frozen, make sure if we need to deprogram you or not."
"I don't think they programmed me," said Fry.
"I don't think so either, but what was all that stuff you were saying back at the lab?" asked Yancy. "About the future or whatever."
Though he could have used help in figuring out how he got back to the past, Fry knew they wouldn't believe him. Perhaps if he started slowly: "Well, I can remember waking up in the future, I mean hundreds of years from now."
"It was just a weird dream, Philip," said his mother.
"But it felt like I was there a lot longer than a month," said Fry. "How could that be?"
"Sometimes people have dreams that seem to last a long time, but really only last a few minutes," said Yancy. "At least, I've read about it."
"Maybe so," said Fry. Convincing them was going to be difficult. But he wasn't sure what to do since he had no idea what had happened. It was like some old Star Trek episode where some alien tries to confuse the crew by making them think they've gone to a different time or place. But was Fry really where he thought he was? He'd always figured that he'd be able to spot an illusory world when he saw one, but he was no longer sure. It all seemed real, so unless or until he had reason to think otherwise, he decided he should assume he really was back in the past. Somehow.
"Almost home," said his mother. "I'm sure you can't wait to pick up where you left off."
"Yeah," muttered Fry, looking at the depressingly empty sky.
Fry spent the next few days getting slowly re-acclimated to life in the past. It took him a little while to remember how to operate simple appliances that he was used to being voice-activated. He had to remind himself that there were no transport tubes, no self-warming food, and no self-repairing dishes or clothes. A couple of times he walked into doors that he'd expected to open automatically. Things were similar, but seemed needlessly primitive. Also, he couldn't believe the city was populated by nothing but humans. It just seemed silly. He constantly expected for the Planet Express ship to land and take him home, or for the Professor to appear and explain what was happening to him.
But after about a week, he'd become more or less used to his old way of living, and his family (who had wondered why it had taken so long) told him to go see Mr. Panucci, who, Fry found out, hadn't filled his old job.
Fry staggered back into Panucci's, gasping and sweating. It was his first night on the job since being revived. "Jeez, it's been busy tonight," he said. "What's with everyone?"
"Ahh, they're just gettin' ready for the show," said Mr. Panucci, sitting at the counter. "Don't worry, we don't usually get any calls while it's on."
"What show?" asked Fry, who had just noticed the restaurant was otherwise empty.
"You know, Futurama."
Panucci gave Fry a strange look. "Are you sure some of your brain still ain't frozen?"
"I'm sorry, I just don't know what you're talking about."
"I'm talkin' about Futurama, the TV show," said Panucci.
Fry shook his head.
"The most popular TV show in the country?"
"I guess I don't remember," said Fry as he sat down on the other side of the counter. "Man, I'm screwed up."
"Well, maybe watching it'll help you," said Panucci. "You loved this show before you got frozen. An' actually, you haven't missed anything, 'cause this is the first new episode since last year. I guess maybe it's been especially busy 'round here 'cause of that."
"Huh. I really don't remember."
"Well, watch it and see if you can. I don't need you goin' nuts on me," said Panucci. He reached up to the television bolted high on the wall and turned it on.
They sat through the end credits of some other show and some commercials. And then it started. There was a flash, and rays of light spread over the screen. Across the top flew a small green object:
"The Planet Express ship!" yelled Fry.
"See? You do remember!" said Panucci.
Fry watched, amazed, as the ship rocketed through the letter R into a familiar city. "New New York!" he yelled.
"Okay, okay, you remember," said Panucci. "Now quiet. I'm tryin' to watch."
Mystified, Fry sat through the rest of the opening sequence, which ended with the ship crashing into a video billboard. Fry thought he could remember something similar happening another time, but he wasn't sure.
The episode properly began with the Robo-Rooter commercial that Fry had seen a hundred times. But there was something odd about the robot: Fry thought it looked computer-animated. Why remake the commercial without the real robot? Then he remembered that robots weren't real, at least not yet. What the hell was going on?
The picture cut to two figures on a couch. One was some guy he didn't recognize, but the other....
"Why is that guy dressed like Bender?" asked Fry. On the couch he saw what was obviously a human wearing a costume designed to look like Bender. It was obvious because the arms and legs were much too thick and weren't as flexible as they should have been, and the feet and hands were too large. Fry guessed the differences were to accommodate a regular human body. The head looked about right, but again it was a bit too large.
"What?" asked Panucci. "That is Bender."
"No it isn't; that's some guy in a costume!"
"Bender is a guy in a costume!"
Fry was about to explain what Bender usually looked like when he was distracted by two new characters: a girl who sort of looked like Amy, and someone who Fry found very familiar.
"Leela!" yelled Fry, who actually jumped up and stood on the chair to get a better look. Was it really her? She and 'Amy' were wearing leotards for some reason but it really looked like--wait a minute. "What's wrong with her eye?" Fry asked, more to himself than to Panucci.
Panucci answered anyway: "There's only one, genius."
"No, not that. I mean, it's computer-animated!"
"Well of course it is. You think they could find a real one-eyed actress? Now could ya sit down? I'm tryin' to watch. Damn, Leela looks hot."
"Hey! Have some respect!" yelled Fry. But he sat down.
The scene continued and 'Leela' chided the guy on the couch for being too fat. But for some reason she called him Fry.
"But that's not me," said Fry. "That's supposed to happen to me! How can they get away with--what the hell is that?"
Fry hadn't thought that anything could end his rant this time, but again something surprised him. Onto the screen bounded another person in costume. Though Fry knew who it was supposed to be, it was clearly a man wearing a lot of prosthetics, mostly red rubber that was glazed to give the appearance of a hard shell. Two obviously human eyes looked out from all the makeup. Fry wasn't sure if the total effect of the costume was goofy or scary.
"The gymnasium?" asked 'Zoidberg.' "Excellent, excellent! For some reason I'm frisky as a squid on Tuesday!"
Fry decided not to say anything else until the show was over, both because Mr. Panucci probably wouldn't answer his questions until then and because Fry knew he'd probably be interrupted yet again by some new bizarreness on the screen. So he just watched the episode. Eventually he realized it was a dramatization of the time they took Zoidberg back to his home planet to mate. The special effects were very good, especially scenes of the alien planet. The other members of Zoidberg's race were of course just people in similar costumes. Fry guessed there were only a few actors total but they appeared in different scenes playing different characters, and the crowd shots were probably computer-animated. He shuddered when he realized that the real-life Edna had been more attractive.
As far as Fry could remember, the actor playing him did and said everything he had done and said during that situation. (Had someone secretly recorded the whole thing?) Unfortunately, Fry didn't like remembering some of those things. He'd given Zoidberg a completely shallow explanation of why and how to win the opposite sex, and he hadn't even shown concern when Leela had run out of the room crying. By the time his TV counterpart got his arm cut off (more visual effects), his face was burning with embarrassment and he tried to shrink into his jacket, even though Panucci was laughing his ass off.
Finally it was over. "Man, that was good," said Panucci as he reached up to turn off the television. "So what'd you think?"
Fry let off the energy that had been building inside him: "That guy was pretending to be me! All those people were just pretending to be me and my friends! They copied everything we really did! How can they get away with that?"
Panucci stared at Fry for a while, perhaps weighing the pros and cons of hiring a new delivery boy. "Fry, it was a new episode," was all he finally said.
"But I knew all of it! I'd seen it all before!"
"You download it off the internet or something?"
"I mean it really happened to me! Don't they need to get my permission? Don't they have to pay me for it?"
"Fry, I really don't care what you think, but...." Panucci paused and stared for a moment, then he began laughing hard, so hard he had to grip the side of the counter with his hands. When he'd calmed down enough to breathe, he was able to say, "I got it! I just figured it out!"
"You remember how you said you had these weird dreams while you were frozen?" asked Panucci, settling down.
"Yeah, but they weren't dreams, they were--"
"No, no, it makes sense! You think you were in Futurama! You think you're Curtis Fry!"
"Curtis Fry, the main character. You loved how you an' him had the same name, remember?"
"Ah, come on! You wouldn't shut up about it all last year!"
"How long has this show been on?"
"Ya really can't remember?"
"Listen," said Fry, "Just pretend I'm stupid--"
"That won't be so hard."
"--and explain the whole thing to me."
"Okay, okay. The show started last March, on ABC."
"That didn't seem like the sort of thing ABC would usually show," said Fry.
"Well, it was supposed ta be on Fox, but they didn't like it and turned it down, so ABC grabbed it. And Fox have been kickin' themselves ever since. Least it gave ABC another popular show so they didn't need to have Who Wants to be a Millionaire? on so much."
"You sure know a lot about it. I guess you really like it."
Panucci glared. "I know a lot 'cause last year you wouldn't shut up about it. You babbled so much that I couldn't help but learn every single little detail!"
"Sorry. I guess I got pretty geeky."
"Anyway, the Fry in Futurama starts out as this loser, but he ends up a thousand years in the future. See? After you got frozen, you started dreamin' that the same thing had happened to you!"
Fry still didn't buy the dream story; it was just too convenient. It seemed now that someone had ripped off his own life in the future and was selling it as a 'science fiction' TV show. But how? And did it have anything to do with him ending up back in the past? "How many episodes have there been?" he asked.
"Well, that one was from season two," said Panucci. "Don't know how many episodes in they are. The last new one was the Christmas special."
"You mean Xmas."
"Yeah, that's what they called it. Man, when Fry and Leela nearly kissed, I was on the edge of my seat."
"Stop that! This is my life we're talking about! You shouldn't know about it!"
Panucci was silent for a moment. Then he stood up. "Listen Fry, go home. You can have your job back when you ain't nuts no more, okay?" He walked back into the kitchen.
Fry sat for a few moments, then went out, got on his bike, and left.
When Fry got home, he found his brother sitting at the kitchen table. He guessed his parents had already gone to bed. "Well, I got fired," Fry said.
"What? How could you get fired?" asked Yancy. "I mean, I thought no one else would take that job."
"It was after we watched that show, Futurama."
"I saw it, but what does that have to do with getting fired?"
"Well...." began Fry. He wondered for a minute what to do, and then decided that Yancy might not respond in the same way as Mr. Panucci. So he explained how he remembered living the whole episode, that it hadn't been a TV show at first. After Yancy didn't react, Fry went on to explain that the whole show Futurama was basically ripped off from his own experiences, the 'dreams' he'd told them about.
After a bit of hesitation, Yancy spoke: "Well, maybe it was déjà vu."
"But it's nothing like déjà vu!"
"Sure it is: you saw something and you thought you'd seen it before."
"So I had déjà vu for half an hour? Like, continuously?"
"Well, it probably had something to do with those dreams you had when you were frozen. Since you thought those were real, your mind wanted you to think the new episode was real too. I guess that's not normal déjà vu, but normally people don't get frozen."
"But it's not TV episodes that I remember, it was my life! There was more to it than half an hour a week!"
Yancy pondered for a moment. "Okay, think about it," he said. "You start dreaming you're actually living Futurama, you are Curtis Fry. You dream of every episode you've seen like you're really there. And when you run out of episodes to dream about, you just keep on living that life, and your mind makes up new stories for you."
"But... it really happened," was all Fry could manage to say.
"I'm sorry, Philip. I'm sorry your mind got messed up like that. You really need to see a doctor or something. Come on, you should probably go to bed." Yancy got up and waited for Fry.
Fry pulled himself up and stumbled off to bed.
Fry spent the next day in a daze. Were Yancy and Mr. Panucci right? Had he really just dreamed about a TV show he'd seen? But why couldn't he remember seeing it before he was frozen? Had his mind blocked it out to keep the illusion from being ruined? But Fry knew none of that actually mattered, because in any case, he was stuck in the year 2000, with no way of getting back home, if it existed.
He thought he remembered other events, things that had happened well after what he'd seen on television. Had he really experienced them? Or were they just other 'episodes' that his mind had made up after it ran out of real ones in which to place him? And if his brother was right, his mind would make up new 'memories' as soon as he heard of a new episode.
After a couple more days, Fry's mind finally accepted that even though he still wasn't sure what had happened, the dream explanation really did make the most sense. And then he was very depressed. It seemed a fate worse than death to live his old life again. Sure, in the future his job wasn't so great and Leela didn't like him, but his time there was the only time in his life that he had been truly happy. But apparently that time was just a dream that had only taken a month to experience.
He tried to cling to the idea that he really had gone to the future. And if that was true, then Futurama had something to do with it. He needed to find out how they knew about him. Perhaps they could send him back. Or perhaps he was just obsessed with the show because he was desperate to relive his dreams and escape reality. Maybe he was going crazy, in which case he couldn't help himself. That was as good an explanation as any (and a pretty convenient one, too). And so, Fry cashed his paycheck from December, bought a plane ticket, and took off for California.
At the television studio, Fry did the usual touristy tour, then managed to lose the tour group and sneak off on his own, just like in the movies. Soon he found the building where Futurama was recorded, and inside....
"Oh, wow," said Fry. He was standing in front of the Planet Express building, but it wasn't the Planet Express building. He saw the TV room, the kitchen, the conference area, the hangar. But they were all half-built with missing walls and no ceilings, except for a blue screen above the hangar. On close inspection, everything was plywood or otherwise cheap-looking; the coffee maker didn't work. The sets were jumbled and in different areas, and Fry wondered how they remembered what the layout of the building was supposed to be. Further on he found the cockpit of the ship and a full-size replica of the ship's bottom half.
Fortunately the place was empty, so Fry could wander around as he liked. Maybe everyone was on break. But he suddenly gasped as he turned a corner and saw a seemingly familiar purple-haired figure walking away from him. "Leela!" he blurted.
The woman stopped and sighed audibly. Then she reached up and -- she pulled her hair off. She turned around. In one hand she held the purple wig; her real hair was pinned closely to her head. She glared at him with two eyes. "Please," she said, "Don't you know you're more likely to get an autograph if you call me by my real name?"
"I'm sorry," Fry said quietly, trying not to cry. "I just saw you from behind and you look a lot more like, well...."
"Okay, okay," said the woman. "But remember, it's Patty Pease, not Leela."
"Right," whispered Fry. "So... what do you think of Leela?"
"What, the part? Well, I can't complain about the salary, I guess, but sometimes I don't really like how they have her act. You know, I hear they might do some more romance episodes between her and Fry. I mean, why can't she get with someone better? Forget Fry."
"I always thought that maybe she could like him, if he could ever say the right thing," said Fry, who suddenly found that he had to stare at the floor.
"Nah, at best he's the stupid guy you laugh at. TV shows always have one of those. Something else that bugs me is that I have to wear this damn thing all the time." She held up her other hand, showing Fry a piece of green mesh. "I wear this over my real eyes so they can animate that freaky big eye she has. At least they pay me extra for doing it."
"I sort of like her eye."
"Well, you don't have to wear this thing. But the real problem is that no one can recognize me without Leela's damn hair and eye. They say I'm the most popular actress on TV, but no one knows who I am when they see me. How am I supposed to get movie roles when casting directors think I'm just another unknown actress?"
"Well, I guess not being recognized has some benefits. The last big role I had, I got all these letters from guys in prison. They wrote the sickest stuff, but--wait a minute... oh God, you're one of those weirdoes, aren't you?" she asked, stepping closer to Fry. "You're one of those guys who can't tell the difference between me and Leela, you think she's real. I get letters from them, too. They think they love her, they want to have sex with her. That's what you want, right? You are like that, aren't you?"
"Look, you don't understand, it's not really like--"
"Not really? Good God, just get out of here and I won't call security."
Fry backed off and returned the way he'd come. He heard the woman's footsteps receding down the hall. Dammit.
Fry moped around the empty sets for a while, but realized someone would come back soon, so he tried to find his way out. He wandered a bit, unable to find the way he'd come in. At one point he opened a door and found a room full of Zoidberg costumes. And then, while he was walking down a hall, someone stepped out of a door, saw him, and quickly jumped back inside.
Curious, Fry opened the door and went in. It was a dressing room, and seated inside was the actor who played him on the show.
"Well Fry," the man said, "Looks like you screwed up again."
Fry was stunned for a moment. Then he smiled. "Yes! I knew it wasn't just a dream!" He pointed theatrically at the man. "You know something, don't you?"
"Yes, I know everything," said the actor. "You see, I'm part of you."
"Oh, one of those," said Fry. "So is this really happening, or am I unconscious in an alley or something?"
"Well, this is as real as your time in the future, I guess," said the actor.
"So what's really going on?" asked Fry. "How do I get back to the future? Everyone's probably worried and looking--"
"Stop that!" yelled the actor. "I told you, it isn't real. You never went to the future."
"Then why do I remember it?"
"Because you're so pathetic that you need some sort of happiness, even if it's from hallucinations."
Fry couldn't say anything.
"Listen, your life was going to be useless no matter what, and you needed some sort of satisfaction to keep yourself going. So I gave you a temporary dream about the future, where your life is better. Just a little subconscious boost."
"But what about the TV show?" Fry managed to ask.
"Don't you see? You're still dreaming. All this, everything with Futurama, was to get you used to the real world again, slowly. But no, you had to screw it all up by thinking that the future, that some stupid dream in another dream, was all real. Now I don't know what to do, but in any case, you'd better listen to me this time."
After a pause, Fry paced the room a little, thinking. Then he turned to the actor. "No, I don't think so," he said.
"I mean, I don't think you're me at all," said Fry. "That was sort of lame even when The Prisoner did it. And the whole thing with the TV show? I would've done something a lot better. I mean, a popular show that's actually good? That goes against the laws of TV! I saw right through it."
"Then who the hell do you think I am?"
"I think you're just another part of the dream, and you aren't really in control at all."
"Why won't you just accept what I told you?"
"Because I'm not as pathetic as that! Some dream couldn't have made me feel the way I did in the future; I was really happy there. But I guess I forget that sometimes."
The actor said nothing. Then Fry noticed the man was glancing nervously at the closet. Their eyes met for a moment, and Fry ran over and threw open the door, even as the actor stood up to stop him. Inside the closet was a cryonic tube.
"Aha!" said Fry. "Now this is the sort of thing I'd put in a dream. It's like a video game." He pulled open the door on the tube.
"Do you really want to do that?" asked the actor.
Fry ignored him and got into the tube. "Am I supposed to say something cool or witty right now?" he asked. "'Cause I can't think of anything." And he shut the door.
Fry opened his eyes. He could only see the ceiling, though he was reclining on something soft. He pulled himself up and looked around. It looked like he was on the couch in the TV area of the Planet Express building. Was he back on the set? No, it was different: the room was complete, the window he faced showed the outside.
"You okay, Fry?" came a voice from behind him.
Fry turned and saw that Leela was sitting on the couch next to him. When he had been lying down, his head must have been in her lap. "Leela? Am I awake? Are you--hey, have you been crying?"
"Uh, no, of course not," she said, looking away. Almost on its own, her hand shot up and wiped her eye.
"Hey, wait... your eye, it's real!"
"Of course it is," she said, narrowing it. "What do you mean?"
"I guess it must have been a dream, then," said Fry after a moment. Then he relievedly leaned back against the couch. He just wanted to sit there, but he realized Leela might think something was wrong, so he sat up again and asked: "Can you tell me what happened to me? Did I get hit on the head, like that time you got knocked out by the What-If Machine? Wait, has that happened yet?"
"Of course it's happened."
"But what happened in the latest episode?"
"The latest what?"
"Oh, I mean, uh, what significant thing happened most recently? Like a wacky adventure we had?"
"Well, how about your deal with the Robot Devil? Do you remember that? You took his hands and wrote an opera for me, but then he tried to force me to marry him, so you had to give them up to save me. That was a couple weeks ago."
"Oh yeah. Okay, I remember that now." The memory seemed significant, but Fry wasn't sure why. "So what did happen to me? That wasn't just a normal dream, was it?"
"That must've been some dream," said Leela. "No, it wasn't normal. You got knocked out by one of the Professor's inventions."
"Really? Which one?"
"Well, you know those commercials you get in your dreams? A company had the idea to put whole TV shows in dreams, with commercial breaks. They hired the Professor to make a machine that could broadcast them, and that's what knocked you out."
"But that wasn't like any TV show I'd ever seen."
"The Professor said there wasn't a show loaded, or any commercials. You just got hit by the basic template. He said it'd be like a TV show, only the experience would fold back on itself, whatever that means. We put you on the couch, and then, well, everyone else had somewhere to go, I guess."
"Jeez! Where is this thing? I need to break it."
"You already did. You were breaking it when it went off and knocked you out." Leela leaned over, put her arms around him, and rested her head on his shoulder. "I'm glad you're okay. The Professor said it'd be alright, but I thought about that time I got stung, and I started worrying."
"I'm sorry I made you worry," said Fry, daring to reach back and put his arm around her. When he did, she squeezed him and he heard her sigh pleasantly. That was new. "How long was I out?"
"Only as long as the dream program lasted: twenty-two minutes." Leela let go of him and stood up. "Come on. You sure you're okay? You remember everything?"
"I think so," said Fry, standing up. "My mind's kind of messed up. That dream seemed so real. I think I remember everything, but I'm still not sure what's real and what's not."
"Oh, I, ah, I think I know what you mean. Don't worry, you should be able to sort things out soon enough."
"That's good, 'cause I don't want to remember it like it really happened. But hey, you know, in the dream I realized I'm the luckiest guy in the universe."
"Fry, you tell me that every day."
"I do? Why should I...." He paused for a moment, remembering something. "Leela!" he yelled, grabbing her arm. "Please tell me I'm not just some dumb guy who everyone laughs at! Is that really all I am?"
"Fry, what's the matter?" asked Leela, putting her hand on his shoulder. "Of course it's not like that. Don't you know?"
"I'm just... I'm sorry, for acting like a jerk all the time and for hurting you and for being so stupid and.... I'm just... sorry."
"Fry! Fry, listen: whatever you might have done, you've more than made up for it, okay? So don't worry."
And just like that, Fry stopped worrying.
Leela continued: "And you know, there were probably a few times when I wasn't very nice to you, and I'm really sorry about that." Then, after a few moments of silence, she asked, "So what was that dream about, anyway?"
"Well, I was back in the past, and the future wasn't real, and you weren't real. Well, you were there, but it wasn't really you. I guess that doesn't make any sense. You know how dreams never make sense to someone else."
"Maybe you can explain the whole thing to me tomorrow. You're still going to the park with me, right?"
"Why am I going to the park?"
Leela gave him a silly look. "Well," she said, "I thought it was because you like to spend time with your girlfriend."
Fry's mouth dropped open.
"Fry, I thought you'd gotten over doing that whenever you heard the G-word. Good thing I didn't call you the B-word." She closed his mouth with her hand and kissed him on the cheek. "Love you," she whispered before pulling away.
Fry just stared at her.
Leela stared back. "Please tell me you remember that."
"Oh, of course I remember it, I could never forget. It's just... I thought it was a dream too."
"Aww, that's so sweet and corny. But yes, it's real. My parents are already asking me about... things. Come on," she said, taking his hand. "I'll walk you to your apartment. And tomorrow you'll have everything sorted out."
"I sure hope so," Fry said, squeezing her hand and walking out with her.